The first time I immersed myself in the technology was at a United States Green Building Council seminar probably four or five years ago. It was in downtown Chicago and it was quick train ride from my office into the city. Chicago is a city where a lot of green initiatives have been underway, from grassy areas atop commercial buildings to residential rehabs filled with energy-efficiency innovations.
When I moved some 80 miles northwest of Chicago three years ago, those initiatives were not as extensive here, aside from some geothermal projects and a wind turbine or two.
But now the Chicago Chapter of USGBC has established a Northern Illinois Branch, which is drawing attention to a growing number of projects in the area.
The Chicago Chapter is planning a name change to Illinois Chapter to reflect its reach throughout the state with its various branches. In fact, throughout the United States there are now more than 80 USGBC chapters and affiliates.
Part of USGBC is its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. HVACR contractors should find more and more buildings focused on seeking LEED recognition. If they are not nearby just yet, they soon will be.
For many contractors to be part of a LEED registered project means a bit of a learning curve. But it is worth getting involved in that learning.